• Nick Zacharias

Saint- Lazare council files sanction against Director General


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Five Saint-Lazare councillors voted in favour of sanctioning Director General Serge Tremblay (pictured above in 2017) for alleged, “… shortcomings in his behaviour towards members of the municipal council and with regard to his treatment of several files under his supervision.”

There was a special meeting of the Saint- Lazare town council on the evening of March 17, the main purpose of which was to vote on a resolution to bring an official sanction against the Director General of the town, Serge Tremblay. The sanction was focused on Tremblay’s reported behaviour towards members of council, and his treatment of certain files under his management. The meeting room was empty except for the mayor and council, the town clerk and security staff – the DG was not present.

Actions taken

Town Clerk Nathaly Rayneault read aloud from the resolution which stated, “The Director General has been informed in writing in recent months of several shortcomings in his behaviour towards members of the municipal council, and with regard to his treatment of several files under his supervision.” The resolution continued to say, “The bond of trust necessary between a Director General and the members of the municipal council is very seriously shaken, given the unacceptable actions of the Director General and his inadequate management of the files under his governance.”

No specific details were given but the resolution outlined that the DG would have two weeks to submit a written action plan detailing how he intends to “permanently correct” his behaviour and management of files, in a, “…spirit of collaboration and healthy communications with the council.”

Not all in favour

The five municipal councillors present voted in favour of the resolution. District 2 Councillor Pierre Casavant requested that the mayor also register his vote on the resolution, to which Mayor Robert Grimaudo responded that he would, and that he would also like to make some comments.

Grimaudo said he had been kept in the dark regarding this resolution and that he was seeing it for the first time that day, so it was difficult to be in favour without adequate time to prepare. He also said, “I have worked very closely with the person in question for seven years and feel that this action is not justified. What is truly important is the operations of the town and simply put, the city of Saint-Lazare is very well managed, his relationship with the employees is very good, and he is appreciated by those he manages. He has always been devoted to his job and is committed to the proper functioning of the town.”

Grimaudo further commented that he was saddened this should be the priority of council in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Politics should never override the health and welfare of the people and the loved ones that surround us.” Grimaudo then voted against the reprimand.

Division evident

Following the meeting, District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance said council had been working on the resolution for quite some time, since long before the pandemic outbreak, but that they have trust issues with the mayor which is why it was handled without him. Asked for specific details on the complaint against Tremblay, none of the councillors who voted in favour were forthcoming.

The mayor later reiterated he felt the reprimand was not at all justified but that he would not be able to share any more details than were in the resolution because it is now a matter for human resources and protected by privacy rules.

In response to The Journal’s efforts to reach the DG, the Saint-Lazare Director of Communications Geneviève Hamel responded, “At this point in time, Mr. Serge Tremblay has no comments.”

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